Police plan for more cameras
Kent Police has revealed plans to increase the number of surveillance cameras in the county by a third – and Ashford is among the places likely to get more.
The force will be installing 34 new automatic number plate recognition cameras (ANPR) over the next few years.
There are already a total of 103, which police say have helped solved dozens of crimes.
Last year, images from the cameras were used as evidence in 163 court cases, including murder, robbery, drug supply, money laundering and human trafficking trials.
Sites for the cameras are being considered in Ashford, Folkestone, Hythe, Sittingbourne, Faversham, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, Dover, Whitfield, Sandwich and Whitstable.
ANPR manager Martin Lyddon said: “Between April 2014 and March 2015 a total of 314 arrests were made as a direct result of stops from ANPR data.
“Between January 2015 and October 2015, 216 vehicles have been seized as having been used in crime or as having been uninsured.
“Around one in every five ANPR stops in the first 10 months of 2015 resulted in an arrest as we continue to effectively use ANPR to deny criminals using Kent’s roads.”
He added: “We want to be very transparent around our use of ANPR in Kent, which is why we are publicising our plans.
“We know that it can be considered by some to be controversial, but it has proven itself as a crucial tool in both detecting and deterring crime.
“We have stringent processes in place to manage the data these cameras collect and innocent members of the public have nothing to be concerned about.
“Our plans to increase our ANPR coverage across Kent is all part of our on-going commitment to keeping Kent safe and making it as difficult as possible for criminals to operate in our county.”
Tony Fortune and Gary Owen hand over the cheque to Charlotte and Glenn Bassett-Rogers